Black History Month 2015: Wentworth Cheswell

Wentworth CheswellFebruary is “Black History Month“.  In honor of the great patriots who helped create a unified, free nation, the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party have chosen this year to spotlight Revolutionary War hero Wentworth Cheswell (1746-1817).

Cheswell held many positions of great importance in his local community and served his country valiantly in the cause of freedom.  As very few modern Americans are aware, Cheswell rode on the same mission as Paul Revere to rally forces to repulse the British.  Few today can lay claim to a resume such as his:

  • First black American to own property in New Hampshire
  • Educated in Latin, Greek, swimming, horsemanship, reading, writing, arithmetic
  • Held church pew at local church
  • Town Constable
  • Town Selectman
  • Town Auditor
  • Town Assessor
  • Town Coroner
  • Town Moderator
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Messenger for Committee of Safety
  • Signed document pledging to resist the British
  • Enlisted in Light Horse Volunteers under Colonel John Langdon (part of Continental Army that won Battle of Saratoga)
  • Elected to convention to draft state’s first constitution
  • Unofficial Town Historian (Rev. Belknap utilized Cheswell’s research in “History of New Hampshire”)
  • First Archaeologist in New Hampshire
  • Started town library
  • School Teacher
  • Elected to board to regulate & oversee town schoolsCheswell p120

Cheswell p121David Barton of perfectly summarizes the legacy of Cheswell:
The legacy of Wentworth Cheswell is a lasting one: a patriot, teacher, and church leader; an historian, archeologist, and educator; a judge and official elected to numerous offices (he is considered the first black American elected to office in America). He is truly one of our forgotten patriots but he is a laudable example for all Americans – a hero worth remembering and honoring during Black History Month.”

Carry forth the legacy of our great founders.  You, too, have the ability to influence your local government and community.  Join the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party in advancing freedom, prosperity, and virtue here in Kitsap County.

For more on Wentworth Cheswell, read:
A Black Patriot: Wentworth Cheswell” by David Barton (Feb 2009)
The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution” by William Cooper Nell & Harriet Beecher Stowe

Stowe Intro

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